Many people wrongfully believe that the only way to run a business is to become a boss and effective manager. However, becoming a leader can help your business flourish a lot more. Moreover, a manager does not automatically become a leader. There are some key differences between the two styles. We can understand it better by saying that people work for managers while they follow leaders. So, your employees might willingly go the extra mile if they see a leader in you. 

Moreover, many professionals can have both qualities at the same time. Or they can learn them over the time of their career. So, it doesn’t mean that management is an inherently negative concept. And the only successful bosses are leaders. Both qualities can be of use depending upon the situation you are in.  

What Are the Key Characteristics of Managers? 

A manager has to make sure to do these four tasks:  

  • Planning  
  • Organizing 
  • Leading  
  • Controlling 

So, this means that the managers often have to become bad cops to make sure work runs smoothly. They are responsible for planning the entire workflow and making sure that everyone meets their deadlines. For instance, you work in a recruitment agency Pennsylvania and have accepted a managerial role. So, you should have the ability to make a plan and then execute it to perfection. Often, it is up to a manager to come up with strategies and a vision for all employees to follow. 

Moreover, they are excellent at delegating tasks and picking out weak links. Then, managers work to improve and motivate the employees that are lagging behind. For a good manager, all employees are the same and no one should get an unfair advantage over others. They focus on the day-to-day tasks and performance of all their employees. 

Another important characteristic of a manager is the efforts they make to retain discipline in the workplace. They have to come up with work rules, leave policies, and establish routine processes. So, they need to have a keen eye on what their employees need and should listen to them. 

What Does a Leader Do? 

A good manager can also become a leader if they do things right. So, it is important to understand that these two terms aren’t mutually exclusive. For a manager to become a leader, they should have the strength of character and a general charisma for their personality. If they are honest and have integrity, the employees will respect them. Then, you don’t even have to give out orders as your employees will follow the set rules on their own.  

Moreover, a leader needs to have a vision that all employees can believe in. You should know your company’s financial standing and where you would like it to be. If you can inspire your employees to follow you, they will make an extra effort to help you cross the finish line. The most significant thing that a leader can do is to help employees see the bigger picture. And imagine their role in the greater good and success of the company. 

A leader has to make their own path instead of following the status quo. So, you should not be afraid to challenge the norms if you don’t agree with them. Moreover, it is important for a leader to have excellent interpersonal skills. They should have an approachable personality that people can talk to easily. 

A Side-By-Side Comparison 

It can be confusing because these terms are often used interchangeably. So, it is important to think of one without the other to truly understand the difference. 

Manager  Leader 
Leads the way Asks important questions 
People work for them People follow them 
Commands a sense of authority Inspires people to do better 
Tells you what needs to be done Shows you how to do it 
Doesn’t accept change easily Is the reason behind the change 
Tries to take credit and become a hero Creates heroes out of ordinary people 
Exercise power Develops power 

Are You a Leader or a Manager? 

Leadership and management should exist in tandem in professional settings. However, that is usually not the case. So, suppose you work for manufacturing staffing agencies in a decision-making position. So, it can often be confusing to think of yourself as a leader or a manager. So, the most important thing to do is to self-reflect. How often do you see yourself giving out orders in a day? Have you ever provided learning sessions or demos to your employees? Even simple questions like these could help in understanding your management style better. 

Moreover, most people would rather come to a leader for advice than a manager. So, you should think about how many people other than your reporting hierarchy come to you for advice. Do you think you make them feel comfortable and could become their friend? The more people there are, the more chances you are a leader.